Acrylic on canvas
Tony Conrad’s recent paintings take inspiration from the meticulous patterning characteristic of traditional Persian rugs and fabrics. In their symmetry, arabesque embellishments, and vibrant colors, his paintings epitomize the delicate beauty of these woven textiles. Collaged into the composition, however, are images of bullets—metallic cartridges and round case heads scanned from photographs and printed on thin paper. Conrad juxtaposes gender and cultural stereotypes in complex opposition. The iconic symbols of masculinity he remembers from growing up in rural Wisconsin—trophy stags, hunter silhouettes, and ammunition—are combined with densely layered designs of Persian femininity and domesticity. In placing them in conflict with each other, he also synthesizes them in an ironic harmony with political and sexual implications.
Tony Conrad received his MFA degree in painting and drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2009. Currently, Conrad is a Lecturer of Art at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin where he now lives. Conrad’s work has been exhibited in various solo, group, and invitational exhibitions and has won a number of awards including the Lawrence Rathsack Scholarship and the Frederick R. Layton Fellowship. Recently, his paintings have been exhibited at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, as well as the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
All images copyright of the artist and used with permission.
This weekend Randall and Frank attended the unveiling of the first year of the Black Cat Alley Mural Project in the Eastside of Milwaukee. Both grew up in Milwaukee and have an appreciation for Street Art, artists, and financially supporting a project that brings local talent to create something beautiful. When this opportunity presented itself it was with no doubt that we had to be a part of it. We are looking forward to Year 2 and Year 3 of this project. If you find yourself in Milwaukee, check it out! You will not be disappointed.
The Black Cat Alley is a new arts destination comprised of outdoor large-scale murals, all in one two-block alley which will serve as an open gallery walkway. It is located between Kenilworth Blvd and Ivanhoe, in the alley between the Oriental Theatre on Farwell Avenue and Colectivo Coffee on Prospect Avenue in the historic East Side neighborhood of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A dark and quiet space, it is in urgent need of a makeover; in our vision, it will be a beautiful, cultural destination for the public. The alley will become an outdoor gallery, enhancing the local business community by drawing local visitors and tourists.
Click here to hear the artists talk about their work and their experience.
To learn about the artists click here.
The Randall Frank Contemporary Art Collection is happy to announce its sponsorship for the upcoming Black Cat Mural Alley Project to take place on the east side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin this summer. Milwaukee is dear to their hearts because it is where Randall and Frank met at UW-Milwaukee taking a college bound math class during their senior year in high school in 1993. Since then their careers have taken them to Richmond, Virginia and Sheboygan, Wisconsin; respectively.
The Randall Frank Contemporary Art Collection aims to support Midwest and East Coast artists as well as events that embrace creativity, diversity, and building [art] community.
To learn about the Black Cat Mural Alley Project visit www.blackcatmke.com.